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by pdschu on Fri May 03, 2019 12:03 pm
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I recently had a request for a print of mine by a friend for an image of a small bird (Indigo Bunting). She wanted a larger print like 13 x 19. I printed one of the images I had edited and looks good on the screen, but on paper the bird was larger than life size and to my eye looked wrong. Do any of you have a rule of thumb for printing such images so that they look realistic but the bird is still prominent in the photo? Obviously a smaller print size would solve the issue.

Portraits of people can surely by smaller that life size but you rarely see one that is larger unless on a billboard or similar. Never thought about this before as I do not print many images.

I appreciate all opinions.

Paul Schumacher
Schumacher Photography

by signgrap on Fri May 03, 2019 4:15 pm
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For the most part print size determines viewing distance.
A larger print can be viewed at a greater distance.
So the person who asked for the print may be displaying it in an area where you can't get close to the print or they just want a larger print so it fills the display area wall or they just like large prints. If it were me I wouldn't worry that the bird appears larger than life. When you do a smaller print of a bird does it matter that the bird is smaller than life size? Why does the size of the bird in the print matter? I do a lot of macro and the prints are always larger than life - I don't give it a second thought. That's part of the fun of photography you can take a photo of something small and make it big so you can study it in detail. Just my perspective.
Dick Ludwig

by Richard B. on Sat May 04, 2019 6:53 pm
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OK, opinions are like ..... (make your choice)... everyone has one.

I enjoy photography as a hobby, do my own printing, and also enjoy birds. But even I can not see putting a 36 inch print of a chickadee over my fireplace. A large decorative image of a small bird does not feel right to me. However I would feel differently about a landscape / birdscape where the chickadee is a prominent element of the image. Also a large print of a large bird with some environmental elements would also be more acceptable (to me). OTH, I would give a friend what they asked for. You could always redo it for your friend if needed.


by Scott B on Tue May 07, 2019 10:08 am
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Isn't it interesting that if a bird is enlarged more than 15% or 20% it seems really unnatural but an insect enlarged 100 times looks great. If you are trying to make money and you are good enough and you need to maintain a certain style you can tell the client what they want keep it life sized. If you are trying to make money and like 99.999% of photographers need any penny you can make give he client what they want. If you are just doing it for a friend and they like big bird, let them have and celebrate it with them that is what friends do.

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